There was a lot going on in the United States in 1961. It was the beginning of a cultural revolution and the space race. It was the year of Bay of Pigs. It was a time when politics and the news of the day were primary fixtures in the minds of average Americans and elected officials.
Unless, it seems, you were the Mayor of a small, work-a-day town in southern Oregon. Then you might decide you have bigger fish to fry.
Jay W. Snider, the Mayor of Medford, Oregon did just that. In 1961 he sent a $1.96 check to the United Kingdom as what he had calculated was the city’s portion of reparations for the Boston Tea Party.
In 2017, I am afraid to too-closely contemplate the modern implications of such a piece of history. This year will we turn our attention to writing letters of condolence to the Roosevelt family? Or call for a trial of Aaron Burr? There are plenty of rabbit holes down which to put one’s head. Let’s not.
It’s time to attend to things at hand.